Boxing's Most Brutal Rematches of All Time

Justin TateCorrespondent IMay 26, 2012

Boxing's Most Brutal Rematches of All Time

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    The most brutal rematches are born through intense boxing rivalries sometimes stoked by hatred, a competitive nature or a general push by the people.

    Boxing thrives off rivalries. When the fans and media gawk in near-equal astonishment at two boxers' accomplishments near or in the same division, there grows a desire for them to meet in the ring.

    Once this desire is fulfilled, the fans want more if the first match was entertaining enough. Sometimes rematches become more thrilling than their predecessors.

    The results can be surprising with shockingly early finishes, or the results could repeat the first match with more of the same with just that much more sustained violent action.

    Either way, a brutal rematch delivers upon the violent promise of the first match and then some. Here are boxing's most brutal rematches.

Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo II

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    Their first match took place on May of 2005. Jose Luis Castillo beat Diego Corrales from post to post, only for Corrales to make the most dramatic knockout comeback of all time.

    In their second match, Castillo and Corrales repeated their brutal back-and-forth ways of taking hard shots from each other, with Castillo again getting the better of Corrales.

    This time, Castillo put Corrales down in Round 4 with a giant left. Corrales could not make the count. Revenge was served in deliciously brutal fashion.

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas 'Hitman' Hearns II

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    Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns did battle first in 1982. They finally gave the people a much-needed rematch in 1989, seven years after their first classic.

    This was the fight to close out the 1980's era of legendary boxing. Hearns dropped Leonard twice, both fighters suffered cuts and a determined Leonard almost stopped a not only game but excellent Hearns.

    Though the fight ended in a controversial draw, Leonard himself has admitted that Hearns deserved the decision.

Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams II

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    Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams fought an amazing pace of back-and-forth brutality in their first match in December of 2009.

    When it came time to rematch on November of 2010, many expected the same. What they got instead was one of the greatest surprise knockouts of all time.

    Martinez and Williams were getting started pretty quickly with the sustained violence in Round 1. Then in Round 2, Martinez fired a perfectly timed left as Williams was throwing.

    Williams did not see what hit him and fell like a 6'2" tree in green and black trunks. Christmas had came early, and Martinez was middleweight champion.

Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe III

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    This rematch saw two of the biggest heavyweights in the sport during the 1990s go for broke against each other. Each had taken the other's "0" from their undefeated record.

    Evander Holyfield dropped a game Riddick Bowe. Bowe came back to rally toward a stoppage in Round 8. This became the first stoppage loss in Holyfield's career.

Orlando Salido vs. Juanma Lopez II

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    Orlando Salido and Juanma Lopez put on a great show in the first match. Lopez was stopped in the eighth round of an action-packed affair.

    Salido's win was doubted as luck, and Lopez was already being paired with young Cuban rival Yuriorkis Gamboa without having won the rematch yet.

    Salido ended talk of Gamboa-Lopez during the 2012 rematch. The same results repeated themselves except in more brutal and praise-worthy fashion.

    Lopez came ready to fight, even managing to put Salido on the canvas, but Salido rose to the occasion and stopped the young warrior in Round 10.

Sonny Liston vs. Floyd Patterson II

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    Floyd Patterson was down three times in the first round of a brutal rematch with Sonny Liston.

    Not many would believe Liston could knock Patterson out in the first round for a second time, but "the Bear" as Ali would call him, certainly did.

    The back-to-back first-round losses dropped Patterson's stock considerably.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales II

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    Manny Pacquiao had to redeem himself following his decision loss to Erik Morales in their previous match.

    Morales and Pacquiao engaged in a war, except Pacquiao's combination of aggression and speed proved too much for Morales, who looked out on his feet multiple times throughout the fight.

    Morales was even officially knocked down twice before being stopped by Kenny Bayless.

    Though Pacquiao would brutally end Morales in their third fight in Round 3, this fight had an elongated brutality to it that added that much more to its violence.

Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson III

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    Their first fight was a brutal one-sided beatdown in Ingemar Johansson's favor that ended in Round 3.

    The second fight was another brutally one-sided fight, but in Patterson's favor, as he caught Johansson with one of the best left hook finishes in sports history.

    But in their third fight, both men served each other a plate of brutality with a side of two knockdowns each.

    Patterson was dropped to the canvas by a more aggressive-than-usual Johansson, who was obviously looking to prove himself following the previous fight.

    Patterson came back with a dramatic left hook to floor Johansson by the end of Round 1.

    Over the course of the next few rounds, both men would throw hard shots, trying to be the first to put the other man's lights out.

    Patterson won the game of who could touch who's chin first with a powerful left in Round 6, followed by a double right hook that sent Johansson face-first into the canvas. He got up but couldn't beat the count.

Rocky Marciano vs. Ezzard Charles II

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    1954 was the year of Marciano-Charles II. Rocky Marciano had scrapped out a decision in their first fight. Ezzard Charles had become the first and only fighter to last 15 rounds with Marciano.

    In their second match, Marciano busted his nose so badly, it appeared he would be stopped soon if no immediate action took place. Marciano brought that action in Round 8 with a series lefts and rights to end the fight.

Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III

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    Muhammad Ali lost his undefeated record in the first fight. Joe Frazier lost in what was considered a less sizzling rematch. Then there was "The Thrilla in Manila."

    Their third match became one of the greatest fights of all time and very possibly the single greatest heavyweight showdown in boxing history.

    Ali was mad that he had split bouts with Frazier and wanted to fully close that chapter of his career. Frazier was mad that Ali was calling him a gorilla, among other names, and wanted to shut him up.

    The fists flew, Ali tried to jab and dance. Frazier wasn't having that. By Round 14, Frazier's aggression had taken a toll on a tired Ali and Ali's accuracy had taken a toll on Frazier's eyes.

    Unable to answer, Frazier was stopped before the beginning of Round 15 to award Ali the edge in a battle no one will ever forget because in reality, everyone who participated in this classic was actually a winner in my book.